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She looked at Hans sorrowfully. "I had originally thought Lord Madison seeking me out when the first window appeared before me. I see I was mistaken and assumed overmuch his intent. For that, Lord Madison, I apologize, and for thinking you recalcitrant in not taking up a duty you were not actually seeking."
Hans shrugged. "It's alright. I understand your situation now. If I knew then, I would have gladly come to help. I would have come better armed, though. An M16 would have been nice."
Gná shook her head, "I know the weapon of which you speak. You will find several of them within Jormungand's Pit should you ever have a chance to look. The young men carrying them went eagerly, but we never thought to first ensure their weapons would function in this realm."
Gná shook her head sadly, then looked up with interest. "Friend Hasaki, how is it that you knew a portal when you saw it?"
"I guessed, My Lady," said Jinsoku. His voice no longer seemed to come from down in his chest and there was no sign of the breathey "surfer dude" overtones he used when he usually spoke.
Hans and Dave goggled at each other over Jinsoku's dropped accent.
"Hoped might be a better word." Jinsoku held his hands out and looked around. "I've sought passage to this realm most of my life. You see, I'm a changeling."
There were many gasps about the table. Even Hans gasped as Jinsoku's features changed slightly and his ears become pointed.
Gná, oddly calm, said, "I had thought we would never see any of our lost children again. Are there many others?"
Jinsoku shook his head sadly. "I've met very few. From what I've learned most eventually chose mortal lives. It's not easy seeing family and friends pass on so quickly as humans are prone."
Hans felt it was time to start an intelligent conversation, "You're an elf?"
Dave rolled his eyes. "He's a changeling, H . . . Madison. He was born an elf and substituted for a human child to be raised in its place. Though the legends don't say what happens to the human child."
Somewhat defensively, Gná replied, "I assure you that in every event the infant had already perished. It was the only payment we could offer for having our children cared for, to have their new parents never know their loss. We set our children to be raised among humans that our race might survive should Loki destroy us here." She continued in an almost absent tone, "You don't know what it means to me to discover that we aren't extinct after all."
Hans did his part to keep the discussion going, "You're an elf."
"Fraid so, Dude," replied Jinsoku, then dropping his accent again, "A bit over three hundred years ago I was raised by a human couple in Japan. But I've been sticking close to your family for three generations now."
Hans was amazed, "You knew, even then?"
Jinsoku chuckled, "Heck no. Your grandfather just helped keep me out of the internment camps of World War II. He's one of the few human beings I've ever shared my secret with. He was a good friend and I still miss him."
Hans sighed and said, "I miss him too." Then his tone turned cross. "Wait a minute. This means you were Great-uncle Hasaki. I always thought it was my fault he, you, died."
Jinsoku wondered, "What? You weren't supposed to think that."
"I thought it was from too much excitement from the amusement park he, er, you, took me too."
"You never said anything."